Understanding Our Church

Explore this treasury of Arkansas writers discussing the Catholic faith on a wide variety of topics. Find what you're looking for by browsing the whole list or search by keyword or author. All articles have been reviewed for theological accuracy. Opinions expressed are those of the author.

Pilgrimages open our hearts, minds to find God in all things
Chris Thomas
The wind came sweeping down the plains and, yes, the waving wheat sure smelled sweet as I sat in a park on the edge of an Okarche, Oklahoma, field.
Catholic hospitals rooted in care for poor, acting as Jesus did
Father Jason Tyler
If someone asked you to name two types of Catholic institutions other than local parishes, you would likely think quickly of Catholic schools and Catholic hospitals. Especially in the United States, we are blessed with many Catholic schools and hospitals.
Lessons in John 21: Jesus gives us spiritual guide for following him
Paula Standridge
Jesus appeared to his disciples several times between his resurrection and ascension into heaven. One of those appearances was at the shore of the sea of Tiberius.
Prepare before Mass so heart is open to really hear homily
Judy Hoelzeman
If I went to a different Mass on Sunday than my parents did, this question usually waited for me when I got home: “What did Father say in the sermon?” I’d think: “Oh no, if only I had listened instead of whispering with my best friend Anne.”
Questions for Catholics to answer ahead of primary elections
Sister Joan Pytlik, DC
With primary elections May 22, and early voting starting May 7, I’m reminded of how pollsters used to speak of the “Catholic vote,” and now say you cannot pigeon-hole Catholics.
Some saint designations inspire us to contemplate our own labels
Kelli Nugent
Occasionally I find myself pondering curious things about the Catholic faith. Recently, I has been thinking about the designations given to the saints, such as martyr, confessor, virgin, etc. In some cases, the designation is evident, but not always.
Foot washing not just a service, but a model Jesus asks us to follow
Betsy Wiederkehr Huss
Did you know the washing of feet on Holy Thursday is not mandatory? Did you know a kiss to the feet used to be involved? How about 13 being the designated number of people getting their feet washed?
Practice of asceticism can keep the faithful from spiritual laziness
Deacon Matthew Glover
We’re now well into Lent. No doubt most have already chosen what they’re giving up. And some have struggled through the first couple of Fridays with no meat (although, here in the South, it’s hard to say that dinners of all-you-can-eat fried catfish is much of a sacrifice).
Relics tour provided educational, moving experience for Catholics
Deacon Mike Cumnock
A few months ago, several Arkansas parishes hosted an exposition of various saints’ relics through the Treasures of the Church tour, a ministry run by Father Carlos Martins.
Death will die: God calling us to heaven means we will be transformed
Edward C. Dodge
I’ve been thinking a lot recently about death. I suppose that sounds morbid, but such mediations result from studying English poetry. “Death, be not proud,” wrote the poet John Donne, “though some have called thee / Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so.”